Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Respectable Adulthood

*Trigger Warning: PTSD, Sexual Abuse Recovery, Eating Disorder*
Adulting is hard.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve said it to my kids the last few years.

However… it is true.

He graduated at the end of the last Century and we moved to Los Angeles. Adult Careers, Adult Pressures, Adult Problems all began to add up. It began to crowd out the sweet start we had in that College town.

In the course of healing my insides, It came time to let go of an outside solution that no longer worked for me. I actively practiced an eating disorder.

Anorexia. I like to call her Orphan Anne.

She and I became friends when I was 14, shortly after I decided to put Death in the Time Out corner. She helped me manage emotions, stress. Anne helped me when I didn’t want to feel my body during unwanted sexual encounters. Her friendship was vital in surviving life growing up at home.

Here I was though. Healing, learning about a Loving God. Wanting to attach to my body and feel its needs. To learn how to take care of it.

Annie, like all addictions, did not like the idea of giving up her control.

For many years we fought. I would eat “normally” for a while. Then step on a scale or catch myself just right in a mirror and loose my appetite for days. I would rationalize that I wasn’t really that bad because my spine didn’t stick out of my skin. Just a respectable amount of pelvic bone, like the models in the magazines. As long as my stomach was flat, life was sane. Or so Anne believed.

Now here I was. An Adult in Recovery and constantly at war with food, myself, the scale, the mirror, wash, rinse, and repeat.

My Loving Higher Power has perfect timing and brought the right person at the right time. It was suggested I try Overeaters Anonymous. It was the same 12 Step formula program as Alcoholics Anonymous, but for people dealing with compulsive food issues.   

January 6, 1991, I committed to the program. I began working the steps. Worked with a Sponsor. Slowly I discovered a life worth living. I developed habits and protocols for myself.

I was responsible for my own happiness.

I was responsible for my own respectability.
I was responsible for my own healing.
I was responsible for my own dignity.
I was responsible for my own truth.

100% Beachy nakedface
Through working the Steps I practiced ownership for my own mistakes and promptly admitted them. I did my best to allow others to solve their own problems with dignity. I gained the strength and courage to be the person I always dreamed about becoming.

I found the Jesus I read about in the Bible. Yes. It did lead to me walking away from Organized Religion, particularly in today’s culture. I was able to walk away from a family that was not healthy for me. I developed the strength to speak my truth and let go of the result.

Because of this dearest Him, I had adventures. I birthed three amazing kids. I discovered a Wild Oat kid that I adore and shares his kids with me. This amazing Him achieved many hopes and dreams. We cried, laughed, grieved, and lived well.

I am abundantly grateful for the 30 years I had with Him.

Adulting is hard.

In July, our paths divided. I now find myself in a position to invent a new future in a life that continues to defy the convention I was raised with. I will use all the tools I’ve gathered over the years. I will hold the hands of friendship and faith. I will continue to share my Experience, Strength and Hope that I discover along the way.  

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